A remote employee was convicted of allegedly attacking a coworker who consumed large amounts of alcohol.
Former BHP employee Ryan John Zabaznow was recently found guilty of sexually penetrating a female fly-in fly-out (FIFO) colleague without consent at a Newman mine camp.
A Perth District Court jury rejected Zabaznow’s claims the sex was consensual after reviewing social media messages between the pair. The 37-year-old had argued he was not a “c–t”.
“What the f–k you just made a f–ing scene,” the defendant allegedly said in one exchange according to the Australian Associated Press.
“It is all good [my friend was] just concerned because of the state I was in when she put to me bed. You are not a c–t, it is all good. They were just worried about me because I am going through a lot,” the unidentified woman allegedly responded.
Further messages show the pair exchanged emojis with love hearts replacing eyes before meeting face-to-face at the camp bar, wet mess and even a colleague’s accommodation after closing time.
The victim allegedly drank about 15 mid-strength beers, vomited and passed out in a donga on 18 November 2020. Zabaznow was accused of climbing into bed with the woman whose clothes were missing below the waist.
The incident ended after two coworkers knocked on the door after hearing the woman moan and cry. They asked whether the intercourse was consensual before ordering Zabaznow to leave.
The woman later told the site supervisor Zabaznow’s intimacy was not consensual. The employer carried out an internal investigation and eventually terminated the accused before Christmas 2020.
BHP commended the woman’s “courage and bravery” for exposing her “traumatic” experience.
“Sexual violence is completely unacceptable and has no place in our communities or in our workplaces. At BHP we are determined to eliminate it from our workplaces and we are committed to creating a culture that is safe, inclusive and respectful at all times,” a company spokesperson said according to the newswire agency.
Zabaznow was placed in custody and expected to be sentenced on 4 August 2023 at the time of publication.
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